Bucksport A.D.A.P.T. Awarded 2019 MAP Project of the Year Award
The 2019 Project of the Year is awarded to Bucksport AIM Development Action Plan for Tomorrow, or A.D.A.P.T. This community-driven plan articulates a vision and plan for the former Verso Paper Mill property. The initiative has moved swiftly from needs assessment and local organizing to advanced scoping and implementation. Even before the ink was dry, the facility was under contract and preparing for construction.
The MAP Project of the Year must demonstrate originality, creative and innovative ideas, transferability, comprehensiveness, public participation, and results that make a difference.
Like many paper mill towns in Maine, the announcement of the Bucksport Mill closing was a shock but not a surprise. Employment at the mill was already in decline. The citizens of Bucksport rallied through a network of community arts, business and social organizations to turn the mill closure into an opportunity. Partners including the Eastern Maine Development Corporation, the Town of Bucksport, and the Chamber of Commerce worked with Federal and State support to hire Elan Planning, Design & Landscape Architecture, PLLC to prepare a master plan. Bucksport Heart & Soul augmented technical analysis with exceptional public outreach. The planning process was transformed half-way through when the property was sold and its future use determined. The final plan is available online at www.adaptbucksport.com.